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What is Part 3AA of the Planning and Environment Act 1987?
Part 3AA of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act) provides protection for metropolitan green wedge land by establishing procedures for planning scheme amendments affecting that land. These procedures require:
- authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare an amendment to a metropolitan fringe planning scheme that would:
- amend or insert a UGB
- amend or insert a provision that relates to or affects green wedge land
- ratification by Parliament for any amendment to a metropolitan fringe planning scheme that has been approved by the Minister that:
- amends or inserts a UGB
- has the effect of altering or removing any controls over the subdivision of green wedge land to allow the land to be subdivided into multiple or smaller lots than allowed for in the planning scheme.
What are the Core Planning Provisions (CPP)?
The CPP are set out in clause 51.02 of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and 17 metropolitan fringe planning schemes.
The CPP sets out prohibitions and restrictions on certain uses and subdivision of land in a non-urban zone, between the UGB and the outer boundary of the 17 metropolitan fringe planning schemes (green wedge land).
The CPP do not apply to land:
- inside the UGB
- outside the 17 metropolitan fringe municipalities
- in an urban zone (for example, townships in green wedge areas)
- in public land zones (except the Public Conservation and Resource Zone)
- excluded by the schedule to clause 51.02.
The schedule to clause 51.02 can identify specific sites where the CPP do not apply.
How do the CPP and Part 3AA of the Act provisions relate?
The CPP and Part 3AA of the Act operate together to ensure the protection of metropolitan green wedge land by:
- setting out particular provisions for the use and development of land in the CPP
- establishing procedures for any amendment to change the schedule to the CPP in the Act.
What do the CPP control?
The CPP control some land uses. The use controls are set out in clause 51.02-2.
A use listed in the table to clause 51.02-2 is prohibited if:
- there is no condition opposite the use in the table
- a condition opposite the use is not met
- if the condition opposite the use is met, the use is not prohibited.
Uses that are prohibited outright include: warehouses, offices and shops. Uses that are prohibited unless they meet certain conditions include dwellings, restaurants and residential hotels.
To understand how the use controls work, they need to be read in conjunction with the land use terms in clause 73.03 and nesting diagrams in clause 73.04 of the planning scheme.
If a use is listed in the table to clause 51.02-2 and that use includes other uses, the same restrictions or prohibitions apply to those other uses unless they have been specifically excluded by the planning scheme. For example, ‘Retail premises’ is a prohibited use. Other uses included in the ‘Retail premises’ nest are also prohibited except ‘Manufacturing sales’, ‘Market’, ‘Plant nursery’, ‘Primary produce sales’, and ‘Restaurant’ which are specifically excluded.
The CPP also affect the subdivision of land. The creation of lots smaller than the minimum subdivision area in the zone is prohibited, unless the subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots or a subdivision to create a lot for a utility installation.
Operation of the CPP
- The CPP do not replace or change the existing zones and overlays. Rather, the CPP apply additional requirements for subdivision and how land may be used.
- A responsible authority cannot issue a permit for a use or subdivision that is prohibited by the CPP, even though it may be allowed in the zone or an overlay.
- A use or subdivision that is not prohibited by the CPP must continue to meet other requirements in the scheme.
- Existing lawfully established uses can continue to operate.
- Existing permits that have not expired can still be acted upon as provided in Clause 63 (Existing uses).
- The CPP do not override any special provisions set out in clause 45.12 (Specific Controls Overlay). An amendment to a planning scheme to include a reference to a new specific proposal on green wedge land in the schedule to clause 45.12 requires the Minister’s authorisation. If that specific proposal has the effect of altering or removing any controls over the subdivision of any green wedge land to allow the land to be subdivided into more lots or into smaller lots than allowed for in the planning scheme, the amendment also needs to be ratified by Parliament.
- The schedule to clause 51.02 in some planning schemes exempts some special use and comprehensive development zones, allowing specific developments that vary from the CPP.
Can the CPP be changed by a council?
No, the CPP can only be amended by the Minister.
- An amendment that proposes to change the zoning of land to a zone in which the CPP do not apply or to change the schedule to clause 51.02 requires authorisation from the Minister before it can be prepared.
- An amendment that changes the schedule to clause 45.12 (Specific Controls Overlay) in a way that affects land outside the UGB also requires authorisation from the Minister.
- An amendment that alters the UGB requires both authorisation from the Minister and ratification by Parliament.
Green Wedge Zone
Clause 35.04 (Green Wedge Zone) recognises and protects non-urban land outside the UGB in the metropolitan area for its agricultural, environmental, historic, landscape or recreational values, mineral and stone resources.
The zone provides opportunity for all agricultural uses and limits non-rural uses to those that either support agriculture or tourism, or that are essential for urban development but cannot be located in urban areas for amenity and other reasons. Examples are: airports, schools, waste treatment plants, landfills and reservoirs. A dwelling requires a permit and is restricted to one dwelling per lot.
The zone provides a minimum lot size of 40 hectares unless an alternative is specified in a schedule to the zone. The creation of smaller lots is prohibited unless the subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots or the creation of a small lot for a utility installation.
Green Wedge A Zone
Clause 35.05 (Green Wedge A Zone) recognises and protects non-urban land outside the UGB in the metropolitan area for its agricultural, environmental, historic, landscape, infrastructure, natural resource and rural living attributes.
The zone provides opportunity for all agricultural uses and limits non-rural uses to those that either support agriculture or tourism, schools, major infrastructure or rural living. A dwelling requires a permit and is restricted to one dwelling per lot.
The zone provides a minimum lot size of eight hectares unless an alternative is specified in a schedule to the zone. The creation of smaller lots is prohibited unless the subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots or the creation of a small lot for a utility installation.
The Rural Conservation Zone
Clause 35.06 (Rural Conservation Zone) is applied to conserve and enhance the environment. The zone recognises the opportunity for agricultural production while seeking to also protect and conserve the natural environment and natural processes for their historic, scientific, landscape, habitat or cultural values.
The zone could also be applied to rural areas degraded by environmental factors such as salinity or erosion. Restrictions apply to development and the range of discretionary uses is limited to those that support farming, agriculture and tourism. A schedule to the zone requires specific environmental values of the land to be listed.
In the metropolitan green wedge area, the CPP apply in addition to the Green Wedge Zone, Green Wedge A Zone and the Rural Conservation Zone.
Page last updated: 03/10/23